The Pentagon has halted the process of appointing at least two people to its boards - Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie. Both were Trump allies in the 2016 campaign and tapped for top advisory positions by the former president in the last month of his tenure, Politico reported citing an email notification which it had obtained and two anonymous sources.
The halt might also affect other recent changes to the Pentagon's advisory boards on business, defence policy, science, innovation and healthcare, the report says.
"All appointments, reappointments and renewals [to the boards would be suspended] pending a thorough review by the new Administration", the email reportedly said.
The move is said to be part of a broader effort to ditch the last-minute Trump appointees. The review of Bossie's and Lewandowski's candidacies, as well as other recent appointees who had already been vetted and approved, will be conducted "to determine if the appointments were politically motivated or professionally made", one of the sources told Politico. The volley of appointments started in December 2020, with some of them successfully concluding by 20 January 2021, when Biden was inaugurated. Bossie and Lewandowski, however, were still undergoing a lengthy process of vetting, including financial disclosure and getting the necessary security clearance.
Politico earlier reported that Biden's team is looking into ways to remove some of the people from advisory boards and commissions in the US government who were appointed by Trump in the last month of his presidency – a practice not uncommon among the US presidents. The outlet noted, however, that it is unclear how Biden's team is planning to achieve its goal since the removal of an appointed member of the board is not an easy task.
The reported approach would be in line with the overall launch of Joe Biden's presidency, which started with POTUS signing an array of executive orders on Day One aimed to repeal many of his predecessor's policies that Democrats criticised. The measures specifically ordered a reversal of Trump's decisions to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and from the World Health Organization. Biden also repealed many immigration orders signed by Trump and halted the construction of the southern border wall with Mexico.